Radio net brokered deal with Worldwide
Satellite radio network Sirius will air BBC’s current music station Radio 1, the first time a British station will be available to listeners across the U.S. other than via the Internet.
It will be on air by late summer, time shifted so that Stateside listeners will wake up to Chris Moyles’ “Breakfast Show” and follow the sked through the day.
Sirius brokered the deal with the pubcaster’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, execs said Tuesday. No figures have been revealed.
BBC Radio 1 plays current pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop, and covers music events worldwide. It also features exclusive interviews, live broadcasts of performances and studio sets. The channel has a weekly audience of more than 12 million in the U.K.
“Radio 1 on Sirius will be a unique entertainment offering unmatched in the U.S.,” said Scott Greenstein, Sirius prexy of entertainment and sports. “It reflects the enormously vibrant British music scene.”
Andy Parfitt, BBC’s controller of Radio 1, said: “With our commitment to great new U.K. music we hope that we can help British acts make inroads into the massive U.S. music market.”
Radio 1 will become one of the 120-plus commercial-free music, sports, news and talk radio stations offered to subscribers, who pay $12.95 a month.
Last week, Canadian broadcast regulators licensed Sirius and rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings to launch subscription radio in the Great White North with local partners. However, they rolled out strict terms on content. Both can air nine foreign channels for each Canadian one, and must air at least eight of the latter.
XM and Sirius have 150 days to mull the regs before taking up the licenses.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission also licensed a competing pay radio service using broadcast towers from local broadcasters Chum and Astral Media.